Cost effective puffy pants

43.6N

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Jan 1, 2021
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The problem: my butt getting so cold I miss big bruisers when glassing.

The solution:
One pair of gen iii level 7 puffy pants that I sourced for around $30.
One bottle of Rit Dyemore synthetic dye. Color: chocolate brown. $4.99 at hobby lobby.
One old coleman cooler.

I took the pants and soaked them in the hottest tap water I had inside the cooler. Next I boiled about 3 gallons of water with the dye mixed in. When I had a rolling boil it all went into the cooler with the pants. I stirred for a minute, then closed the lid to let it soak. For the next half hour, in 5 minute intervals I went back and stirred the pants in the solution for even distribution. When that was done I rinsed with cold water until the runoff was free of dye. Then I put the pants into the wash for a cold cycle rinse and spin. Then dried in the dryer.

The result: color is something between coyote brown and kuiu Major Brown.
Very warm. Compatible in weight and compressibility to my 800 fill down parka.

I’m really glad I tried this out, and was surprised how fast the nylon liner and shell took the dye.

Let me know what you think below.
 

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OP
43.6N

43.6N

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And here is another pair I experimented on with the standard Rit dyes (tan and camel mixed). Same process detailed above.

The result was surprising. A very bright green that was eerily similar to kryptek mandrake. Not exactly what I was going for, and tbh a little too electric green for the burned November colors here in south west Idaho.

It seems the standard dyes enhanced the base color, while the synthetic dye completely covered the base color.
 

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INgunner54

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May 31, 2016
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Those primaloft pants are a major bargain. I got a used pair off ebay for 9 bucks. Not the lightest but they absolutely work.

Sent from my SM-G991U using Tapatalk
 
OP
43.6N

43.6N

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For sure. And as far as weight savings go, it’s all relative to the system.

For example before I dyed them I was out for a late November mule deer hunt. I was able to comfortably sleep in the pants with my 30 degree summer bag.

The pants alone are relatively heavy compared to other pants. But the pants and my sleeping bag combined to weigh less then my zero degree bag (plus now I have warm pants lol).

Over all I think an awesome way to open up later season hunts in comfort without too much extra cash.
 

MrSunday

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May 21, 2016
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WA
I tried them this last season but the fit was just too off for me. I'm a 34x32. The mediums were too small in the waist and the larges were ridiculously enormous. Way too much extra material and room. I returned both sets and am looking for a better fitting option.
If they fit and you can deal with the weight and bulk these are a great option.
 

INgunner54

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I tried them this last season but the fit was just too off for me. I'm a 34x32. The mediums were too small in the waist and the larges were ridiculously enormous. Way too much extra material and room. I returned both sets and am looking for a better fitting option.
If they fit and you can deal with the weight and bulk these are a great option.
Yeah mine don't fit what I would call well, but I only really use them if I'm sitting glassing, or stand hunting whitetail. I'm not moving much at all for the fit to matter much.

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MrSunday

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May 21, 2016
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Yeah mine don't fit what I would call well, but I only really use them if I'm sitting glassing, or stand hunting whitetail. I'm not moving much at all for the fit to matter much.

Sent from my SM-G991U using Tapatalk

I completely agree. For non-backcountry hunts they are great. But I didn't want the weight and bulk penalty for my alpine hunt. I wish they would have worked out for me.
 
OP
43.6N

43.6N

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For what it’s worth, I went with a medium-long.
I’m 6’0”, 34-36 waist.

Fit is… meh, functional
Weight is 2 lbs even.
The amount of Velcro is mind numbing
Packs into a cantaloupe sized ball inside a compression bag
 

Hill Difficulty

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Sep 30, 2019
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OP

Thank you for posting your color dye experience - appreciated!

I have Mountain Hardware Compressor pants that I'm fond of. The pants cost $170, black color, and nylon material. Would gladly dye to brown or gray but requires that I use another Rit product to strip the black color first, so an extra step.

Does anyone know whether stripping + using dye can alter the integrity of the nylon shell or insulation material?
 
OP
43.6N

43.6N

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Joined
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OP

Thank you for posting your color dye experience - appreciated!

I have Mountain Hardware Compressor pants that I'm fond of. The pants cost $170, black color, and nylon material. Would gladly dye to brown or gray but requires that I use another Rit product to strip the black color first, so an extra step.

Does anyone know whether stripping + using dye can alter the integrity of the nylon shell or insulation material?
So here is my understanding of nylon and dye chemistry:

The nylon is a coiled polymer made of short chains of carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen. These condense into a macro and micro structure.

The dye has 2 ways to penetrate the fiber. One is to chemically adhere to the sticky oxygen or nitrogen parts with either caustic chemical additives or very high heat, or both.
The second is to insert large dye molecules into the macro structure of the fiber where they are physically trapped but not chemically bonded. Usually high heat is needed to relax the fiber.

My understanding is that the Rit products (the dyes and color stripper) don’t use caustic chemicals (they aren’t chlorinated or aniline dyes typical of industrial dyes) due to them being sold to household consumers. And therefore aren’t as likely to chemically degrade the base fabric.

As far as the polyester based insulation, it should be relatively inert, and as long as it isn’t physically damaged should be ok through your process.

That being said a test piece of similar nylon before you commit wouldn’t be a bad choice.
 

BCsteve

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Sep 22, 2013
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I did something similar but used fabric paint to create a camo pattern.

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Mike Islander

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Lowcountry, SC
I bought blemished Feathered Friends Helios down pants for $200. Never have figured out why they were blems. Ultralight. Ultra packable. Ultra warm. 13 oz total weight, with 4.4 oz of 900+ down.
 
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BFazz

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Mar 16, 2021
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Location
WV
Thanks for this OP

I picked up a pair earlier this year. Had been wearing ASAT leafy suit bottoms over top for treestand sits. Definitely going to give the Rit Dye a go. I might try mimicking ASAT/predator/macro camo pattern with some fabric paint after the dye.

For the price, I’m happy with the pants, very warm. Definitely don’t compress as well as down pants but not as bulky as I expected either. Fit is good enough for non-active situations (glassing, treestands). At 6’5” the med-long has enough length, doesn’t ride up when sitting. I did cut off those annoying Velcro tabs after the first time out
 

zeroforhire

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Where are you guys finding these for a decent price? Everything I’m seeing on eBay is around $40-70


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OP
43.6N

43.6N

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Amazon had some good prices for a bit. Search for primaloft pants.

And then local mil surp stores.
 
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